It's the new second venture from David Mitchell, who opened the popular Mitchell Deli in Riverside Village way back in 2008. Specializing in fresh seafood and sausage made in house, Rudie's takes the mandate that made Mitchell Deli so successful — serve good food, made with impeccable ingredients, in a friendly, unpretentious neighborhood atmosphere — to the next level.
Some of the dishes that knocked me out included ceviche, steamed mussels, the fried oyster po'boy and an exquisite salad of English bacon and watermelon.
But meanwhile, I've heard from a couple people that I missed the boat by not ordering Rudie's Pork Burger, made with freshly ground pork (from the three whole hogs Rudie's has delivered each week to supply the menu) on brioche and topped with caramelized onions, provolone and if you wish, a fried egg. Next time I'll tend to that missed opportunity.
What do you say, Bites folk. Who's been to Rudies? Want to share any thoughts?
Yesterday, Bites shared the news of Five Points Pizza scheduling its annual Free Slice Day for this Tuesday. An absolutely gratis slice of pizza (either cheese or pepperoni) is nothing to scoff at, and it got us thinking.
There are all kinds of free food promotions out there, especially on a corporate level. There's National Pancake Day at IHOP, National Doughnut Day at Krispy Kreme. One day a year Chick-fil-A gives away free meals if you dress like a cow.
And the more new high-profile restaurants Nashville gets, the more places stage freebie preview events, often called friends-and-family but often inclusive of anybody who falls within the restaurant's radar.
Anyway, we started comparing notable free food experiences we've had. For sheerly sentimental reasons, I cherish the free scoop I got when the new Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams finally opened in Hillsboro Village earlier this summer. (And did you hear that Salty Caramel is coming back to all the Jeni's scoop shops today?)
What about you, Bitesters? Any memories of great free food you've scored? And this is the Open Thread, so what else ya got?
Remember last week when we were discussing all the "ampersand events" featuring bacon, bourbon, barrels, butchers, etc? I promised more details on the Music City Bacon & Barrel Festival coming up Oct. 10 at the Nashville Farmers' Market. The SouthComm event is for ages 21+ only (barrel, duh) and will feature 25 of your favorite local restaurants showcasing their talents with sliced pork belly, which you probably call bacon. Or BACON!
Additionally, notable distilleries like Nelson's Green Brier, Col. E.H. Taylor, Bulleit, George Dickel, Elmer T. Lee, Four Roses, Eagle Rare and others will be on hand to offer 15 different bourbon samplings included with your $40 admission ticket. It should go without saying that we here at the Scene hope that you arrange a safe ride home after all that tasting, but we'll say it anyway.
Our SouthComm corporate cousins over at Nfocus are throwing a soiree of their own on Thursday, Sept. 10, with their annual Alfresco Dinner. As you'd expect from the fact that their offices are always neater and more stylish than our messy cubes, Nfocus folks definitely know how to throw an elegant party, and this one should not disappoint.
To celebrate its fourth birthday, the popular pizzeria Five Points Pizza (located, naturally in the Five Points area of East Nashville) has designated this Tuesday, Sept, 1, as its annual Free Slice Day.
It's actually more like free slice night, since the freebies will be flying only from 5 to 7 p.m. The free slice options are cheese and pepperoni, and they are available only at the restaurant's walk-up window.
The other restriction: only one slice person — but hey, why be greedy about pizza that's free?
The Mt. Everest Cheeseburger with Belgian Fries at Embers Ski Lodge
Last month, Scene culture editor Megan Seling reviewed a relative newcomer in 12South, Embers Ski Lodge. From the perspective of a native Northwesterner, she noted a lack of authenticity, but added that despite that, Embers was pretty good. (As Chris Chamberlain noted in his First Bite, the restaurant is pulling inspiration from ski resorts located all over the world, not just the Pacific Northwest.)
Yes, the theme is a bit hokey — a ski Lodge in Nashville? — but in a city where farm-to-table restaurants and artisanal coffee shops dominate the scene, a change of pace is rather welcome.
Now open for a few months, Embers has had time to settle in and find its stride and is hopeful of becoming a neighborhood hangout. So the restaurant has introduced two new promotions: Mule Mondays and $10 Buck Lunches.
When author Leanne Brown was working on her master's thesis on food security at New York University, she decided that her message should live somewhere beyond just a couple of copies of her work to be read only by her family and thesis advisers. So she made the decision to offer it as a free downloadable pdf under the title Good and Cheap. More than 800,000 downloads later, her book has instructed the masses on how to eat on $4 a day.
That is a very conscious choice of a monetary amount, since $4 represents the amount of support that many folks on food stamps, or SNAP program, have as a daily budget. However, even after all those free downloads, Brown realized that many of the exact people she was seeking to reach might not have easy access to a computer or e-reader. So she devised a Kickstarter campaign to create a print edition of her book.
The campaign had the added benefit of offering a free copy of the book to people in need for every one purchased on Kickstarter. The campaign was a resounding success, as Brown's original request for $10,000 to print a small batch attracted 5,636 supporters who raised $144,681, making it the No. 1 cookbook ever on the crowd-funding platform.
August is such a fantastic time in Tennessee for fresh produce straight from the farm. Not only is there an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, beans and summer squashes, but many of the winter squashes (delicata and butternut, for example) are coming in, as well as peaches, nectarines, early figs and apples. It’s this bounty of fresh produce that has inspired chef Dale Levitski of Sinema to create a “market menu” each week based on what he’s hand-picked from local farms.
This is Levitski’s first summer in Tennessee and his first opportunity to connect with local farmers. He says that during his time in Montana and Chicago, choosing produce and visiting with farmers were among his favorite things to do. Here in Middle Tennessee, he’s forged a great relationship with Old School Farm as well as Bloomsbury Farms, Fresh & Local Nashville, Hill and Hollow Farms, Fisher Orchards, The Country Barn, Hopkins Farm, Hughes Farm, Greener Roots and Tomato Tomato among others. He noted that he really appreciates the efforts of the Nashville Farmers’ Market in helping him connect with more local purveyors.
The Market Menu is a three-course fixed meal, ranging in price from $35 to $45 per person, depending on the menu. For an additional $20-25 per person, you can add a three-course wine/cocktail pairing. The special is available in the dining room Monday through Thursday with menus changing weekly. Take a look at this week’s menu:
Chef Josh Habiger is partnering with the Strategic Hospitality restaurant group (the company behind The Catbird Seat, Patterson House and Pinewood Social, among other projects) for a new eatery. Called Bastion, it's coming to the revitalizing Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.
“I just wanted to create the type of place that I want to hang out in — a place that isn't pretentious,” says Habiger, who was one of the two founding chefs at The Catbird Seat and was the culinary mind behind Pinewood Social. “Beers, shots, a few simple cocktails, along with some other elements that we hope will make it a great place to go."
(Habiger, a classically trained chef who also has a keen interest in mixology, helped launch cocktail haven Patterson House and did a stint at Aviary in Chicago.)
Bastion will be located in a two-story building at 434 Houston St. A brief release from Strategic Hospitality today gives no details of the planned cuisine, the interior decor or the opening date for Bastion in the arts-and-artisan-centric Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.
“I'm very excited to be a part of such a creative area of Nashville," Habiger says.
Saturday, Sept. 5, is the date for the third annual foodie scavenger hunt that is known as the InterNASHional Food Crawl. The event is a fundraiser for Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition's Welcoming Tennessee initiative, and even more importantly, seeks to raise awareness of the TIRRC and its efforts to empower immigrants and refugees across the state.
This year, the Food Crawl will direct participants to 15 different ethnic restaurants and markets along a five-mile stretch of Nolensville Road. There are two ticket options, a $10 general admission ticket or a $30 VIP experience. General admission offers a map to eight to 10 of the participating venues and a wristband that entitles you to free tastings at spots representing Mexican, Middle Eastern, Thai, Indian and other types of cuisine.
The VIP experience includes transportation in a special bus to stops that are only available to the VIP patrons. In addition to all of the benefits of a general admission ticket, VIP guests will also be treated to their own tour guide, plus drinks on the bus. Two sessions of the VIP tour leave at noon and 2 p.m., while general admission participants can travel at their leisure any time from noon until 4:00.
This time of year is peak season for a lot of Tennessee’s best produce. Along with tons of squash, eggplant and tomatoes, you’ll find lots of beans and peas. Green beans, October beans, crowder peas, black-eyed peas and so on. One of my favorite beans is yellow wax beans.
When buying yellow wax beans at the market, look for young and tender beans. That means they should be light yellow with a bit of green at the tips (no spots) and smooth. Bumpy beans are a sign that they’re a little more mature (the bean inside has grown more). Store in a paper bag or wrapped loosely with a paper towel in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
These beans are really versatile and can be used in a variety of ways, but I like to eat them in this very simple recipe: